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Illinois Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Over the years many different types of accidents and damages around the home have gone unclaimed because Illinois homeowners have not been fully aware of extent of the coverage they have under their Illinois homeowners insurance policy. Don’t let that be you.  Take time to bone up on a few Illinois homeowners insurance coverage basics.

Why Do I Need Illinois Homeowners Insurance Coverage?

Illinois homeowners insurance coverage is designed to give you financial protection in the case of a disaster – both minor and major.  If a leak occurs in your pipes and you don’t catch it until the carpet’s soaked and your drywall needs to be replaced, your homeowners insurance will pay for the repairs. If a tree falls on your home and extensive damages are done to your roof, your insurance will cover that also.  Homeowners insurance covers a myriad number of damages.

But in this day of frivolous lawsuits, Illinois homeowners insurance also provides coverage for liability and legal responsibilities for any property damage or injuries that may have been caused by you or a member of your family that lives in your home. Also, the damages caused by Fido or any other household pet, is covered under most Illinois homeowners insurance policies.

What Is NOT Covered Under My Illinois Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Most disasters and their damages are covered under a standard Illinois homeowners insurance policy, but there are some exemptions.  The two major exclusions are floods and earthquakes.  In order to be insured against damages caused by these two events, two separate policies have to be purchased.

In addition, whereas an Illinois homeowners insurance policy will pay for repairs to a furnace or air conditioning unit that is struck by lightning, it will not pay for items that break down due to normal usage or lack of maintenance.

Also, if your home has a sump pump, keep it in good working condition, because most insurance policies will not cover water damages if your sump pump breaks.

Standard Illinois Homeowners Insurance Policies – What Do They Cover?

There are four basic types of coverage included in the standard IL homeowners insurance policy.

The first type of coverage Is the coverage people think of primarily when it comes to homeowners insurance, and that is the structure of the home. In the advent of a tornado, fire, hurricane (a cattle stampede running through your bay window) or other disasters listed in your insurance policy, payment will be made to repair or rebuild your home.  Other structural items associated with your home are usually also covered such as a detached garage, garden or tool shed, or a gazebo.

The second type of coverage included in a standard Illinois homeowners insurance policy is designed to cover personal belongings that are either destroyed by disaster or are stolen.  This part of your policy usually operates on a percentage basis.  Coverage is provided for your personal belongings for about 50& to 70% of the amount of insurance you have taken out on you homes’ structure.  If you insured your home for $300,000, then your belongings would be insured between $150,000 and $210,000.

Even as there are some exclusions for structural insurance in an insurance policy, there are also some exclusions or qualifiers for personal belongings.  Items such as guns, silverware, computers, jewels and furs are covered, but they are assigned a dollar value not to exceed a $2,000 limit.  Keep in mind that your personal items are insured whether they are stolen or damaged in your homes premises or elsewhere.

This means items that are lost are also covered.  Strangely enough, trees and shrubs are also considered personal belongings and are covered under most standard Homeowners Insurance policies.  However, damages as a result of wind, disease or lack of maintenance are not covered.  The good news is, that if that same cattle stampede that went through your bay window took out the bushes on the way in, the bushes are covered – each one up to about $500.

The third type of coverage is liability protection.  With liability insurance you are covered against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or a family member cause.  This coverage is only good for hose members of your family who reside in your home and does not apply to any property damage that a family member afflicts on the house.  Payment under the liability section of your policy is not only for the cost of defending you in court, but it also covers any court awards.

However, there are varying liability limits based on the purchase price of your policy.   Usually, liability limits began at $100,000, although today’s market recommendation is to purchase liability insurance for at least $300,000.  Another arm of liability protection is no-fault medical coverage.  If your son or daughter invite a friend over and he chips a tooth while running “up” the slide in your backyard, a liability claim can be by-passed.  Medical bills can be submitted directly to your Illinois homeowners insurance Company and they will send payment for the medical bills to the party involved – usually up to $5,000.
The fourth type of coverage included in a standard IL homeowners insurance policy, is called Additional Living Expenses.  This part of your policy is in place to cover the expenses that are incurred as a result of having to live away from your home because it is too badly damaged to stay there.

This coverage includes hotel bills, restaurant bills and other expenses that occur as a result of not being able to live in your home.  Within this Additional living Expense portion of your Homeowners Insurance policy there are variations of coverage.

Some insurance companies offer coverage for approximately 20% of the insurance on your home.  Others provide a policy that gives an unlimited amount of additional living expenses, but tempers that amount by providing coverage for a limited amount of time.-regardless if the house is ready for occupancy or not.

Get Started Comparing Illinois Homeowners Insurance Coverage Options Now!

Although standard policies are fairly uniform throughout the Illinois homeowners insurance market, all of them can be tweaked to give you personalized coverage.

The bottom line of course is that the homeowner must be willing to pay a higher premium in order to get the desired coverage in a particular area.  However, in many cases the increase in premiums is not as high as you might expect due to the many different types of discounts that are available.

Why not shop around and see how much you can save? Get started comparing Illinois homeowners insurance coverage options from top companies now!

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